July 28 2006 at 07:45PM
A Pretoria High Court judge on Friday in no uncertain terms said the courts were fed up with the high rate of crime and with the disregard criminals had for the life of innocent people.
He warned that criminals would feel the brunt of the law.
This speech by judge Aubrey Ledwaba was prompted by the killing of a Brakpan couple - Phillipus Meyburg, 53, and his wife Ria, 39.
The couple had been married for only six weeks before they were murdered.
Malebo Makgetlaheng received a double life sentence for the two murders while his co-accused Martin Mahlangu and Thabiso Ndlela each received three life terms - for the murders as well as an additional life sentence because they raped the woman.
The couple were not home on June 16, 2004 when the men broke into their house. They later arrived home and the man was shot in the chest. He later died on the scene. His wife was assaulted with a hammer while the accused demanded money from her.
She was later tied up and placed into her car, which was loaded with goods the men took from the house. They took her to a veld near Springs where she was shot in the chest. Her husband was found the next day -dead in his bedroom.
The police launched a hunt for the woman. Her body was found four days later by a miner.
Ledwaba said crime has reached alarming proportions and innocent and respectful members of the community were killed in their own homes.
"What is most disturbing is that criminals break into these houses without any fear whether the occupants are there... If they find the people there and they offer any resistance, the criminals will simply kill them." - Sapa